HOW TO

Hire for culture fit

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Fit matters for the role or the team, and for the company culture. There’s a bottom-line impact in hiring for culture fit. Culture drives engagement and turnover. When employees feel connected to your company culture, they’re more engaged and less likely to quit. When they don’t feel connected to your company culture, they’re less engaged and more likely to quit.

Below, you’ll learn how to assess your culture, build an interview guide, conduct and score a cultural interview, and add value to the hiring process. 

1. Hiring the whole person

Relying on your gut?

It’s more than just trusting your gut. Turnover rates demonstrate that your gut is often wrong. Just because someone has worked in the same industry, grew up in the same town as another high performer, or did a great job at the actual interview doesn’t mean they’ll fit the company culture on items that matter in your workplace such as timeliness, precision, teamwork, relationships, and innovation. 

It’s easier to assess a candidate’s fit when your organization’s values and norms are documented and communicated. Then, they can become a structured cultural interview.

Match Game

Based on what you reviewed in the Head, Heart, Briefcase interactive above, drag the purple cards to their correct category. If you’re correct, the card will disappear. If you’re incorrect, it will turn red. 

2. Building your cultural interview

Culture Fit vs. Culture Add

Consider the difference between hiring for culture fit and cultural addition. 

When you hire to fit the culture, an employee or candidate is aligned with the organization’s core values and company culture.

An established culture may need to change or grow. Hiring for culture addition creates more diversity of thought and work styles to help organizations see initiatives in a new way.

What kind of culture do you have? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Many companies do not have a defined culture. The Predictive Index’s Design solution can help assess your culture. You can explore it below. 

In our hiring example, if you focus on processes and precision, then the culture would value accurate and timely work. If you’re trying to expand into new markets, then courage and innovation are cultural norms. In a stabilizing culture, you may ask about work quality, performance or decision making.

In any case, cultural evaluations must be purposeful and explicit. You can ask and score candidates based on cultural questions.

3. Conducting the interview

Who can conduct a cultural interview?

Conceivably, anyone in your organization. If you’ve correctly assessed your values companywide, then they don’t just live with managers, HR, or executives. Anyone should be able to ask candidates about them.

If you had to suddenly step away from the interview, is there a person or persons you could identify to ask candidates about your culture? Ideally, anyone in your organization should be able to jump in. 

4. How it adds value

There are benefits to hiring for culture fit. Hiring the right people adds value. On the flip side, hiring the wrong candidates is expensive. Fitting with the values add tangible value. Both sides gain value from hiring for culture fit. It’s a two-way street.

FOR THE CANDIDATE

A clear idea of company values and norms.

Opportunity to differentiate themselves, based on values and passions.

Understanding of what cultural norms are valued and rewarded in the workplace.

FOR THE ORGANIZATION

A visible and thoughtful approach to hiring.

An attractive differentiator to talented candidates.

An intentional way to create and monitor culture through hiring.

5. Test your knowledge

Hire with confidence.

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